HOME

TheInfoList




In the United Kingdom, independent schools (also sometimes described as Public schools) are fee-charging schools, typically governed by an elected board of governors and independent of many of the regulations and conditions that apply to state-funded schools. For example, pupils do not have to follow the
National CurriculumA national curriculum is a common programme of study in school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or "pupils") under the direction of teachers. Mo ...
. Historically, the term 'private school' referred to a school in private ownership, in contrast to an
endowed A financial endowment is a legal structure for managing, and in many cases indefinitely perpetuating, a pool of Financial instrument, financial, real estate, or other investments for a specific purpose according to Donor intent, the will of its fo ...
school subject to a trust or of charitable status. Many of the older and more exclusive independent schools catering for the 13–18 age range in England and Wales are known as public schools, seven of which were the subject of the
Public Schools Act 1868 The Public Schools Act 1868 was enacted by the British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencie ...
. The term 'public school' derived from the fact that they were then open to pupils regardless of where they lived or their religion (while in America, 'public school' refers to a publicly funded
state school State schools (in England, Wales, and New Zealand) or public schools (Scottish English and North American English) are generally primary or secondary educational institution, schools that educate all children without charge. They are funded in ...
). Prep (preparatory) schools educate younger children up to the age of 13 to 'prepare' them for entry to the public schools and other independent schools. Some former
grammar school A grammar school is one of several different types of school in the history of education in the United Kingdom and other English-speaking countries, originally a school teaching Latin, but more recently an academically oriented secondary school ...
s converted to an independent fee-charging model following the 1965
Circular 10/65Circular 10/65 was a government circular issued in 1965 by the Department of Education and Science (UK), Department of Education and Science (DES) requesting Local Education Authorities (LEAs) in England and Wales to begin converting their secondary ...
, which marked the end of their state funding; others converted into
comprehensive school A comprehensive school is a public school for elementary aged or secondary aged children (aged approximately 11-18) that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude, in contrast to the selective school A selective ...
s. There are around 2,600 independent schools in the UK, which educate around 615,000 children, some 7 per cent of all British children and 18 per cent of pupils over the age of 16. In addition to charging tuition fees, many also benefit from gifts, charitable endowments and
charitable status A charitable organization or charity is an organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy Philanthropy consists of "private initiatives, for the Public good (economics), public good, focusing on quality of life". Philanthropy contrasts ...
. Many of these schools are members of the
Independent Schools Council The Independent Schools Council (ISC) is a non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, p ...
. In 2017, the average annual cost for private schooling was £14,102 for day school and £32,259 for boarding school.


History


Origins

Some independent schools are particularly old, such as
The King's School, Canterbury The King's School is a Public school (United Kingdom), public school (English Independent school (United Kingdom), independent Day school, day and boarding school for 13 to 18 year old pupils) in Canterbury, Kent, England. It is a member of the ...
(founded 597),
The King's School, Rochester The King's School, Rochester, is an English independent school in Rochester, Kent. It is a cathedral school and, being part of the foundation of Rochester Cathedral, the Dean of Rochester serves as chair of the school's governing body. The schoo ...
(founded 604),
St Peter's School, York St Peter's School is a co-educational Independent school (United Kingdom), independent boarding and day school (also referred to as a Public school (United Kingdom), public school), in the English City of York, with extensive grounds on the ban ...
(founded c. 627),
Sherborne School (God and My Right) , established = 705 by Aldhelm Aldhelm ( ang, Ealdhelm, la, Aldhelmus Malmesberiensis) (c. 63925 May 709), Abbot of Malmesbury Abbey, Bishop of Sherborne, and a writer and scholar of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classi ...
(founded 705),
Wells Cathedral School Wells Cathedral School is a co-educational independent school located in Wells, Somerset, Wells, Somerset, England. The school is one of the five specialist musical schools for school-age children in the United Kingdom, along with Chetham's Schoo ...
(founded 909),
Warwick School Warwick ( ) is a market town and the of , England, adjacent to the . It is south of , and south-east of . It is adjoined with and . It has ancient origins and an array of historic buildings, notably from the , and eras. It was a major for ...
(c. 914),
The King's School, Ely King's Ely (renamed from "The King's School" in March 2012),The School's Terms and Conditions and the Companies House registration would suggest that the School's legal name remains "The King's School, Ely" is a coeducational Independent schoo ...
(c. 970) and St Albans School (948). These schools were founded as part of the church and were under its complete dominion. However, during the late 14th and early 15th centuries the first schools independent of the church were founded.
Winchester Winchester is a cathedral city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London ...

Winchester
and
Oswestry Oswestry ( ) () is a market town, civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and co ...
were the first of their kind, and paved the way for the establishment of the modern " public school". These were often established for male students from poor or disadvantaged backgrounds; however, English law has always regarded education as a charitable end in itself, irrespective of poverty. The transformation of free charitable foundations into institutions which sometimes charge fees came about readily: the foundation would only afford minimal facilities, so that further fees might be charged to lodge, clothe and otherwise maintain the scholars, to the private profit of the trustees or headmaster. Also, facilities already provided by the charitable foundation for a few students could profitably be extended to further paying pupils. (Some schools still keep their foundation students in a separate house from other pupils.) After a time, such fees eclipsed the original charitable income, and the original endowment would become a minor part of the capital benefactions enjoyed by the school. In 2009 senior boarding schools were charging fees of between £16,000 and nearly £30,000 per annum. However, a majority of the independent schools today are still registered as a charity, and bursaries are available to students on a means test basis.
Christ's Hospital Christ's Hospital is a public school (English independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, ...
in
Horsham Horsham is a market town on the upper reaches of the River Arun on the fringe of the Weald in West Sussex, England. The town is south south-west of London, north-west of Brighton and north-east of the county town of Chichester. Nearby town ...

Horsham
is an example: a large proportion of its students are funded by its charitable foundation or by various benefactors.


Victorian expansion

The educational reforms of the 19th century were particularly important under first
Thomas Arnold Thomas Arnold (13 June 1795 – 12 June 1842) was an English educator and historian. Arnold was an early supporter of the Broad Church Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from th ...
at
Rugby Rugby may refer to: Sports Rugby codes * Rugby football in various forms: ** Rugby league: 13 players per side *** Masters Rugby League *** Mod league *** Rugby league nines *** Rugby league sevens *** Touch (sport) *** Wheelchair rugby league ** ...
, and then
Butler A butler is a person who works in a house serving and is a domestic worker A domestic worker is a person who works within the scope of a residence. The term "domestic service" applies to the equivalent occupational category. In traditional Engl ...
and later Kennedy at
Shrewsbury Shrewsbury ( , ) is a market town and the county town of Shropshire, England. The town is situated on the River Severn, north-west of London, and the 2011 census recorded a population of 71,715. The town centre has a largely unspoilt mediev ...
, the former emphasising team spirit and
muscular Christianity Muscular Christianity is a philosophical movement that originated in England in the mid-19th century, characterized by a belief in patriotic duty, discipline, self-sacrifice, masculinity, and the moral and physical beauty of athleticism. The movem ...
and the latter the importance of scholarship and competitive examinations.
Edward Thring Edward Thring (29 November 1821 – 22 October 1887) was a celebrated British educator. He was headmaster of Uppingham School Uppingham School is a co-educational independent school in Uppingham, Rutland Rutland () is a landlocked co ...

Edward Thring
of
Uppingham School Uppingham School is a co-educational independent school in Uppingham, Rutland Rutland () is a landlocked county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brook ...
introduced major reforms, focusing on the importance of the individual and competition, as well as the need for a "total curriculum" with academia, music, sport and drama being central to education. Most public schools developed significantly during the 18th and 19th centuries, and came to play an important role in the development of the
Victorian Victorian or Victorians may refer to: 19th century * Victorian era, British history during Queen Victoria's 19th-century reign ** Victorian architecture ** Victorian house ** Victorian decorative arts ** Victorian fashion ** Victorian literature ...
social elite. Under a number of forward-looking headmasters leading public schools created a curriculum based heavily on classics and physical activity for boys and young men of the upper and upper middle classes. They were schools for the gentlemanly elite of Victorian politics, armed forces and colonial government. Often, successful businessmen would send their sons to a public school as a mark of participation in the elite. Much of the discipline was in the hands of senior pupils (usually known as
prefect Prefect (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of th ...

prefect
s), which was not just a means to reduce staffing costs, but was also seen as vital preparation for those pupils' later roles in public or military service. More recently heads of public schools have been emphasising that senior pupils now play a much reduced role in disciplining. To an extent, the public school system influenced the school systems of the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
, and recognisably "
public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth Engli ...
" schools can be found in many
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...

Commonwealth
countries.


Modern era

Until 1975 there had been a group of 179 academically selective schools drawing on both private and state funding, the
direct grant grammar school A direct grant grammar school was a type of Selective school, selective secondary school in the United Kingdom that existed between 1945 and 1976. One quarter of the places in these schools were directly funded by central government, while the rema ...
s. The Direct Grant Grammar Schools (Cessation of Grant) Regulations 1975 required these schools to choose between full state funding as comprehensive schools and full independence. As a result, 119 of these schools became independent. Pupil numbers at independent schools fell slightly during the mid-1970s recession. At the same time participation at all secondary schools grew dramatically, so that the share of the independent sector fell from a little under 8 per cent in 1964 to reach a low of 5.7 per cent in 1978. Both these trends were reversed during the 1980s, and the share of the independent schools reached 7.5 per cent by 1991. The changes since 1990 have been less dramatic, participation falling to 6.9 per cent by 1996 before increasing very slightly after 2000 to reach 7.2 per cent in 2012. In 2015, the figure has fallen back to 6.9 per cent with the absolute number of pupils attending independent schools falling everywhere in England apart from in the South East.


The present day


England and Wales

In 2011 there were more than 2,500 independent schools in the UK educating some 628,000 children, comprising over 6.5 per cent of UK children, and more than 18 per cent of pupils over the age of 16.Pupil Numbers
, Independent Schools Council.
In England the schools account for a slightly higher percentage than in the UK as a whole. According to a 2010 study by Ryan & Sibetia, "the proportion of pupils attending independent schools in England is currently 7.2 per cent (considering full-time pupils only)". Most of the larger independent schools are either full or partial boarding schools, although many are now predominantly day schools; by contrast there are only a few dozen state boarding schools. Boarding-school traditions give a distinctive character to British independent education, even in the case of day-pupils. A high proportion of independent schools, particularly the larger and older institutions, have
charitable The practice of charity is the voluntary Voluntary may refer to: * Voluntary (music)In music a voluntary is a piece of music, usually for an organ, that is played as part of a church service. In English-speaking countries, the music played before ...
status. ;Inspections in England The
Independent Schools Council The Independent Schools Council (ISC) is a non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, p ...
(ISC), through seven affiliated organisations, represents 1,289 schools that together educate over 80 per cent of the pupils in the UK independent sector. Those schools in England which are members of the affiliated organisations of the ISC are inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate under a framework agreed between ISC, the Government's Department for Education (DfE) and the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). Independent Schools not affiliated to the ISC in England may be inspected by either School Inspection Service or Bridge Schools' Trust. Independent schools accredited to the ISC in Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland or others in England out with the inspectorial bodies listed above are inspected through the national inspectorates in each country.


Scotland

Independent schools in
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
educate about 31,000 children and often referred to as private schools. Although many of the Scottish independent schools are members of the ISC they are also represented by the
Scottish Council of Independent Schools The Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) is a registered Scottish charity which represents the Independent school (United Kingdom)#Scotland, independent school sector in Scotland. Its membership includes mainstream fee-paying independent ...
, recognised by the
Scottish Parliament The Scottish Parliament ( gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ; Scots language, Scots: ''Scots Pairlament'') is the Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved, Unicameralism, unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood, Edinburgh, Holyro ...

Scottish Parliament
as the body representing private schools in Scotland. Unlike England, all Scottish independent schools are subject to the same regime of inspections by
Education Scotland Education Scotland ( gd, Foghlam Alba, sco, Eddication Scotland) is an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government, tasked with improving the quality of the country's education system. Origins The creation of the Agency was announced by Scott ...
as local authority schools and they have to register with the Learning Directorate. The nine largest Scottish independent schools, with 1,000 or more pupils, are
George Watson's College George Watson's College is a co-educational independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, ...
,
Hutcheson's Grammar School Hutchesons' Grammar School is a coeducation, co-educational Independent school (United Kingdom), independent school in the southside of Glasgow, Scotland. It was founded as Hutchesons Boys' Grammar School by the brothers George Hutcheson and ...
,
Robert Gordon's College Robert Gordon's College is a Independent school (UK), private co-educational day school in Aberdeen, Scotland. The school caters for pupils from Nursery through to S6. History It originally opened in 1750 as the result of a bequest by Robert ...

Robert Gordon's College
,
George Heriot's School George Heriot's School is a Scottish independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, area of t ...
, St Aloysius' College,
The Glasgow Academy The Glasgow Academy is a coeducational Independent school (UK), independent day school for pupils aged 3–18 in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2016, it was the third best secondary school in Scotland according to its Higher exam results. Founded in 184 ...
,
Dollar Academy Dollar Academy, founded in 1818 by John McNabb, is an independent co-educational day and boarding school in Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. C ...
, the
High School of Glasgow The High School of Glasgow is an Independent school (United Kingdom), independent, co-educational day school, day school in Glasgow, Scotland. The original High School of Glasgow was founded as the Cathedral school, choir school of Glasgow Cathed ...
and the
High School of Dundee The High School of Dundee is an independent, co-educational, day school in Dundee Dundee (; sco, Dundee gd, Dùn Dè or ''Dùn Dèagh'' ) is Scotland's List of towns and cities in Scotland by population, fourth-largest city and the List o ...
. Historically, in Scotland, it was common for children destined for private schools to receive their primary education at a local school. This arose because of Scotland's long tradition of state-funded education, which was spearheaded by the
Church of Scotland The Church of Scotland (CoS; sco, The Scots Kirk; gd, Eaglais na h-Alba), also known by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is the national National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis ...

Church of Scotland
from the seventeenth century, long before such education was common in England. Independent prep schools only became more widespread in Scotland from the late 19th century (usually attached to an existing secondary private school, though exceptions such as
Craigclowan Preparatory School Craigclowan Preparatory School is an Independent school (United Kingdom), independent day Preparatory school (United Kingdom), preparatory school for boys and girls aged 3 to 13 in Perth, Scotland, Perth, Scotland. History Craigclowan Prep Schoo ...
and
Cargilfield Preparatory School Cargilfield Preparatory School is a private co-educational Preparatory school (United Kingdom), prep school in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was founded in 1873. It is a day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3–13 and caters for approximately ...
do exist), though they are still much less prevalent than in England. They are, however, currently gaining in numbers.. In modern times many secondary pupils in Scotland's private schools will have fed in from the school's own fee-paying primary school, therefore there is considerable competition facing pupils from state primary schools who seek to enter a private school at secondary stage, via entrance examinations.


Selection

Independent schools, like state grammar schools, are free to select their pupils, subject to general legislation against
discrimination Discrimination is the act of making unjustified distinctions between people based on the groups, classes, or other categories to which they belong or are perceived to belong. People may be discriminated on the basis of Racial discrimination, r ...
. The principal forms of selection are financial, in that the pupil's family must be able to pay the school fees, and academic, with many administering their own entrance exams – some also require that the prospective student undergo an interview, and credit may also be given for musical, sporting or other talent. Entrance to some schools is more or less restricted to pupils whose parents practise a particular religion, or schools may require all pupils to attend religious services. Only a small minority of parents can afford school fees averaging over £23,000 per annum for boarding pupils and £11,000 for day pupils, with additional costs for uniform, equipment and extra-curricular facilities. Scholarships and
means-tested A means test is a determination of whether an individual or family is eligible for government assistance or welfare Welfare (or commonly, social welfare) is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet ...
bursaries to assist the education of the less well-off are usually awarded by a process which combines academic and other criteria. Independent schools are generally academically selective, using the competitive
Common Entrance Examination Common Entrance Examinations (commonly known as CE) are taken by independent school pupils in the UK as part of the selective admissions process at age 13, though ten independent schools do select at 11 using different test papers. They are set ...
at ages 11–13. Schools often offer scholarships to attract abler pupils (which improves their average results); the standard sometimes approaches the
General Certificate of Secondary Education The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification in a particular subject, taken in England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies north ...
(GCSE) intended for age 16. Poorly-performing pupils may be required to leave, and following GCSE results can be replaced in the
sixth form In the education systems of England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east ...
by a new infusion of high-performing sixth-form-only pupils, which may distort apparent results. On the other hand, pupils performing poorly cannot legally be excluded from a state school solely for poor performance.


Conditions

Independent schools, as compared with maintained schools, are generally characterised by more individual teaching; much lower pupil-teacher ratios at around 9:1; longer teaching hours (sometimes including Saturday morning teaching) and homework (known as prep), though shorter terms; more time for organised sports and extra-curricular activities; more emphasis on traditional academic subjects such as maths,
classics Classics or classical studies is the study of classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer ...

classics
and modern languages; and a broader education than that prescribed by the
national curriculum A national curriculum is a common programme of study in school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countri ...
, to which state school education is in practice limited. As boarding schools are fully responsible for their pupils throughout term-time, pastoral care is an essential part of independent education, and many independent schools teach their own distinctive ethos, including social aspirations, manners and accents, associated with their own school traditions. Many pupils aspire to send their own children to their old schools over successive generations. Most offer sporting, musical, dramatic and art facilities, sometimes at extra charges. Educational achievement is generally very good. Independent school pupils are four times more likely to attain an A* at
GCSE The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification in a particular subject, taken in England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies north ...
than their non-selective state sector counterparts and twice as likely to attain an A grade at
A-level#REDIRECT A-Level The A Level (Advanced Level) is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education, as well as a school leaving qualification offered by the educational bodies in the United Kingdom and the ...
. A much higher proportion go to university. Some schools specialise in particular strengths, whether academic, vocational or artistic, although this is not as common as it is in the
State sector The public sector (also called the state sector) is the part of the economy composed of both public service A public service is a service Service may refer to: Activities :''(See the Religion section for religious activities)'' * Adminis ...
. Independent schools are able to set their own discipline regime, with much greater freedom to exclude children, primarily exercised in the wider interests of the school: the most usual causes being drug-taking, whether at school or away, or an open rejection of the school's values, such as dishonesty or violence. In England and Wales there are no requirements for teaching staff to have
Qualified Teacher Status Qualified teacher status (QTS) or Qualified teacher learning and skills status (QTLS) is required in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its w ...
or to be registered with the General Teaching Council. In Scotland a teaching qualification and registration with the
General Teaching Council for Scotland The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language The Goidelic or Gaelic languages ( ga, teangacha Gaelacha; gd, cànanan ...
(GTCS) is mandatory for all teaching positions.


Impact on the British economy

In 2014 the Independent Schools Council commissioned a report to highlight the impact that independent schools have on the British economy. The report calculated that independent schools support an £11.7 billion contribution to gross value added (GVA) in Britain.


Criticisms

Independent schools are often criticised for being elitist, and seen as lying outside the spirit of the state system. Many of the best-known public schools are extremely expensive, and many have entry criteria geared towards those who have been at private "feeder" preparatory schools. The Thatcher government introduced the
Assisted Places Scheme The Assisted Places Scheme was established in the UK by the Conservative Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well ...
in England and Wales in 1980, whereby the state paid the school fees for those pupils capable of gaining a place but unable to afford the fees. This was essentially a response to the decision of the previous Labour government in the mid-1970s to remove government funding of
direct grant grammar school A direct grant grammar school was a type of Selective school, selective secondary school in the United Kingdom that existed between 1945 and 1976. One quarter of the places in these schools were directly funded by central government, while the rema ...
s, most of which then became independent schools; some Assisted Places pupils went to the former direct-grant schools such as
Manchester Grammar School The Manchester Grammar School (MGS) in Manchester Manchester () is the most-populous city and metropolitan borough in North West England and Greater Manchester, England. The city has the country's List of English districts by population, fi ...
. The scheme was terminated by the Labour government in 1997, and since then the independent sector has moved to increase its own means-tested bursaries. The former classics-based curriculum was also criticised for not providing skills in sciences or engineering, but was perhaps in response to the requirement of classics for entry to
Oxbridge Oxbridge is a portmanteau A portmanteau (, ) or portmanteau word (from "portmanteau (luggage) A portmanteau is a piece of luggage Baggage or luggage consists of bags, cases, and containers which hold a travel Travel is the move ...
until the early 1960s, as well as a hangover from centuries ago when ''only'' Latin and Greek were taught at many public schools. It was Martin Wiener's opposition to this tendency which inspired his 1981 book ''English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit: 1850-1980''. It became a huge influence on the government's opposition to old-school gentlemanly
Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, ...
ism. According to a 2010 report from the Department for Education, independent school pupils have "the highest rates of achieving grades A or B in A-level maths and sciences" compared to grammar, specialist and mainstream state schools, and pupils at independent schools account for a disproportionate number of the total number of A-levels in maths and sciences. Some parents complain that their rights and their children's are compromised by vague and one-sided contracts which allow Heads to use discretionary powers unfairly, such as in expulsion on non-disciplinary grounds. They believe independent schools have not embraced the principles of
natural justice In English law English law is the common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in wr ...
as adopted by the state sector, and
private law Private law is that part of a civil law Civil law may refer to: * Civil law (common law) Civil law is a major branch of the law.Glanville Williams. ''Learning the Law''. Eleventh Edition. Stevens. 1982. p. 2. In common law legal systems such as ...
as applied to Higher Education. This belief is reinforced by the fact that the legal rights of pupils are governed by a private contract, as opposed to rights implemented by the national government. For instance, a pupil seeking admission to a state school that is rejected is legally entitled to appeal, whereas at an independent school admissions are at the discretion of the governing body of the school. In 2006, pupils at fee-paying schools made up 43 per cent of those selected for places at
Oxford University Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2017, its population was estimated at 152,450. It is northwest of London, southeast of Birmingham, and northeast of Bristol. The city is home to the Unive ...

Oxford University
and 38 per cent of those granted places at
Cambridge University The University of Cambridge is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a royal charter by Henry III of England, Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest ...
(although such pupils represent only 18 per cent of the 16 years old plus school population).


Charitable status

A major area of debate in recent years has centred around the continuing charitable status of independent schools, which means they are not charged business rates by local councils, amongst other benefits. This is estimated to save the schools about £200 per pupil and to cost the Exchequer about £100 million in tax breaks, assuming that an increase in fees would not result in any transfer of pupils from private to maintained sector. Since the Charities Act was passed in November 2006, charitable status is based on an organisation providing a "public benefit", as judged by the
Charity Commission , type = Non-ministerial government department Non-ministerial government departments (NMGDs) are a type of Departments of the Government of the United Kingdom, department of the Government of the United Kingdom that deal with matters for whic ...
. In 2008, the Charity Commission published guidance, including guidance on public benefit and fee charging, setting out issues to be considered by charities charging high fees that many people could not afford. The
Independent Schools Council The Independent Schools Council (ISC) is a non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, p ...
was granted permission by the High Court to bring a judicial review of the Charity Commission’s public benefit guidance as it affected the independent education sector. This was heard by the
Upper Tribunal The Upper Tribunal is part of the administrative justice system of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph ...
at the same time as a reference by the Attorney General asking the Tribunal to consider how the public benefit requirement should operate in relation to fee-charging charitable schools. The Upper Tribunal's decision, published on 14 October 2011, concluded that in all cases there must be more than ''de minimis'' or token benefit for the poor, but that trustees of a charitable independent school should decide what was appropriate in their particular circumstances. The Charity Commission accordingly published revised public benefit guidance in 2013. In
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
, under the Charities and Trustee Investment Act (Scotland), there is an entirely separate test of charitable status, overseen by the
Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) is a non-ministerial department of the Scottish Government with responsibility for the regulation of Charitable organisation, charities in Scotland. OSCR is the independent regulator and registrar for more t ...
, which assesses the public benefit provided by each registered school charity.


Advantage of more time for exams

An investigation into official exam data by the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme, in 2017, showed that 20% of private school pupils were given extra time for their GCSE and A level exams, as compared with less than 12% of pupils in public sector schools. The most commonly given amount of extra exam time is 25%. Such 'exam access' arrangements are given for a range of disabilities and educational special needs such as
dyslexia Dyslexia, also known as reading disorder, is a disorder characterized by difficulty reading Reading is the process of taking in the sense or meaning of letters, symbols, ''etc.'', especially by sight or touch. For educators and researche ...

dyslexia
, dyspraxia and
ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by inattention, or excessive activity and impulsivity, which are otherwise not Developmental psychology, appropriate for a person's age. Some indivi ...
.


School type and eventual degree class

In 2002 Jeremy Smith and Robin Naylor of the
University of Warwick , mottoeng = Mind moves matter , established = , type = Public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an or ...
conducted a study into the determinants of degree performance at UK universities. Their study confirmed that the internationally recognized phenomenon whereby “children from more advantaged class backgrounds have higher levels of educational attainment than children from less-advantaged class backgrounds" persists at university level in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
. The authors noted "a very well-determined and monotonically positive effect defined over Social Classes I to V" whereby, for both men and women, "''ceteris paribus'', academic performance at university is better the more advantaged is the student's home background". but they also observed that a student educated at an independent school was on average 6 per cent less likely to receive a first or an upper second class degree than a student from the same social class background, of the same gender, who had achieved the same A-level score at a state school. The averaged effect was described as very variable across the social class and A-level attainment of the candidates; it was "small and not strongly significant for students with high A-level scores" (i.e. for students at the more selective universities) and "statistically significant mostly for students from lower occupationally-ranked social-class backgrounds". Additionally, the study could not take into account the effect of a slightly different and more traditional subject mix studied by independent students at university on university achievement. Despite these caveats, the paper attracted much press attention. The same study found wide variations between independent school, suggesting that students from a few of them were in fact significantly more likely to obtain the better degrees than state students of the same gender and class background having the same A-level score. In 2011, a subsequent study led by Richard Partington at
Cambridge University The University of Cambridge is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a royal charter by Henry III of England, Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest ...
showed that A-level performance is "overwhelmingly" the best predictor for exam performance in the earlier years ("Part I") of the undergraduate degree at Cambridge. Partington's summary specified that "questions of school background and gender" ... "make only a marginal difference and the pattern – particularly in relation to school background – is in any case inconsistent." A study commissioned by the
Sutton Trust The Sutton Trust is an educational Charitable organization, charity in the United Kingdom which aims to improve social mobility and address educational disadvantage. The charity was set up by educational philanthropist Sir Peter Lampl in 1997 and ...
and published in 2010 focussed mainly on the possible use of US-style SAT tests as a way of detecting a candidate's academic potential. Its findings confirmed those of the Smith & Naylor study in that it found that privately educated pupils who, despite their educational advantages, have only secured a poor A-level score, and who therefore attend less selective universities, do less well than state educated degree candidates with the same low A-level attainment. In addition, as discussed in the 2010 Buckingham report "HMC Schools: a quantitative analysis", because students from state schools tended to be admitted on lower A-level entry grades, relative to entry grades it could be claimed that these students had improved more.CEER Publications, University of Buckingham
. Buckingham.ac.uk (1997-01-02). Retrieved on 2013-08-13.
A countervailing finding of the
Sutton Trust The Sutton Trust is an educational Charitable organization, charity in the United Kingdom which aims to improve social mobility and address educational disadvantage. The charity was set up by educational philanthropist Sir Peter Lampl in 1997 and ...
study was that for students of a given level of A-level attainment it is almost twice as difficult to get a first at the most selective universities than at those on the other end of the scale. Independent sector schools regularly dominate the top of the A-level league tables, and their students are more likely to apply to the most selective universities; as a result independent sector students are particularly well represented at these institutions, and therefore only the very ablest of them are likely to secure the best degrees. In 2013 the
Higher Education Funding Council for England The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) was a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom, which was responsible for the distribution of funding for higher education to universities and further education colleges in Engl ...
published a study noting, amongst other things, that a greater percentage of students who had attended an independent school prior to university achieved a first or upper second class degree compared with students from state schools. Out of a starting cohort of 24,360 candidates having attended an independent school and 184,580 having attended a state school, 64.9 per cent of the former attained a first or upper second class degree, compared to 52.7 per cent of the latter. However, no statistical comparisons of the two groups (State vs Independent) were reported, with or without controls for student characteristics such as entry qualifications, so no inferences can be drawn on the relative performance of the two groups. The stand-out finding of the study was that Independent School students over-achieved in obtaining graduate jobs and study, even when student characteristics were allowed for (sex, ethnicity, school type, entry qualifications, area of study). In 2015, the UK press widely reported the outcome of research suggesting that graduates from state schools that have attained similar A level grades go on to achieve higher undergraduate degree classes than their independent school counterparts. The quoted figures, based on the degree results of all students who graduated in 2013/14, suggested that 82 per cent of state school pupils got firsts or upper seconds compared with 73 per cent of those from independent schools. Later, HEFCE admitted that it had made a transposition error, and that in fact, 73 per cent of state school graduates gained a first or upper second class degree compared with 82 per cent of independent school graduates. This admission attracted far less publicity than the original erroneous assertion. Across all English universities, state school students who scored two Bs and a C at A-level did on average eight per cent better at degree level than their privately educated counterparts. However, two Bs and a C represents an entry tariff of 112, well below the average demanded by any of the UK's
Russell Group The Russell Group is a self-selected association of twenty-four public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, ...
universities.


See also

*
Education in the United Kingdom Education in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter with each of the countries of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), since 1922, comprises four constituent countries: England England ...
*
Independent school fee fixing scandalIn September 2005, fifty prominent independent schools in the United Kingdom were found guilty of operating a fee-fixing cartel by the Office of Fair Trading , type = Non-ministerial government department Non-ministerial government departments ( ...
*
List of independent schools in the United Kingdom A ''list'' is any set of items. List or lists may also refer to: People * List (surname)List or Liste is a European surname. Notable people with the surname include: List * Friedrich List (1789–1846), German economist * Garrett List (1943 ...
* School and university in literature * Schools Class locomotives for a class of Southern Railway locomotives that were named after Public Schools in the early 1930s


Notes


External links


'To fail them all their days'
By Ben Locker and William Dornan in
The Times ''The Times'' is a British Newspaper#Daily, daily Newspaper#National, national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title ''The Daily Universal Register'', adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. ''The Times'' and its s ...
. April 3, 2007 * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Independent School (Uk) Education in the United Kingdom Independent schools in the United Kingdom School types